By Sarah N. Lynch
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. judge on Monday asked the Justice Department to explain whether President Donald Trump's order commuting Roger Stone's prison term means the veteran Republican operative does not need to be supervised by probation officers as many convicted felons are after being freed.
Congressional Democrats and other critics accused Trump of abuse of power and an assault on the rule of law after the Republican president on Friday gave executive clemency to Stone, his longtime friend and adviser.
U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who presided over Stone's trial, set a July 14 deadline to receive a copy of Trump's clemency order along with an explanation about whether it also commutes the period that Stone was meant to be supervised after leaving prison.
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Stone, 67, was sentenced to three years and four months in prison after he was convicted of lying under oath to lawmakers investigating Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election. His original sentence called for him to be on supervised released for two years.
Stone's attorney Grant Smith did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Stone was due to have reported to a federal prison in Georgia on Tuesday. Trump's action marked his most assertive intervention to protect an associate in a criminal case and his latest use of executive clemency to benefit an ally.
(Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; Additional reporting by Mark Hosenball; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Will Dunham)